DENR collaborates with ombudsman following suspension of Bohol officials

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has pledged to cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman in light of the preventive suspension of Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado and 68 other local officials. They have been suspended for six months without pay as part of an investigation into the construction of Captain’s Peak Resort at the foot of Chocolate Hills.

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga emphasized the importance of upholding integrity and accountability in environmental governance. She stated that the department is committed to holding those responsible for any violation, whether intentional or inadvertent, accountable.

The ombudsman field investigation office (FIO) filed a complaint against the public respondents for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. This is in relation to the construction, operation, and expansion of Captain’s Peak Resort in Canmano, Sagbayan, Bohol, a location nestled in the middle of the iconic Chocolate Hills National Monument.

In addition to Gov. Aumentado, several town chief executives in Bohol, as well as regional officials from various government agencies, have also been ordered preventively suspended. The Office of the Interior Secretary has been tasked to implement the suspension order.

Bohol’s Chocolate Hills Natural Monument is a protected area by law, and the entire Bohol Island is designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark, making it the only tourism area in the Philippines with this status.

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